For women, purses are a lot like the little dogs they tote around inside them: pets and masters will, over time, begin to resemble each other in strange and startling ways. Women for whom "spa" is a verb, place a high premium being freshly-plucked and streamlined. So too with their compact clutches, all sleek minimalism and squared-off edges. Those of us who spend more time applying black liner than balancing budgets tend to go for bags that are studded and buckled within an inch of their life. With all their hardware and zippers they look like MacGyver's dream but are actually totally useless except to lug stuff from work back to your apartment. Then there are the laid back, eclectic ladies who prefer their bags to mirror their lifestyle: Hobos for the Bohos.
I, on the other hand, would like to think I'm too well-rounded and interesting to be pigeonholed into the tired purse-as-personality categories. But the truth is I'm just too picky and commitment-phobic to drop more than 50 bucks on something I have to stare at for a year. Thus, welcome to my favorite use for the interent aside from reshuffling Netflix queues and filling my gray matter with inane Wiki articles: Customization!
Picking and choosing your own combination of bags and patterns is the perfect way to prolong the rather mature notion that, at some point, we all have to make choices and simply settle for "good enough." Not as long as my laptop battery works! Some favorite sites for bag customizing are 1154 LILL Studio, Ella Bags, Freddy & Ma, and one perennial classic, LeSportsac. An added bonus: once you're done building a purse but before you've realized you have neither the money nor the undying need for more customized stuff, these sites all offer self-designed pillows, umbrellas, plates and wallets. Great for those of us who think status "It" bags are better off made with canvas.